Case Studies

Communication to mitigate reputation risk and manage stakeholders trust

Reputation is a key brand equity. Managing reputation risk is even more pressing and urgent because of social media that facilitates the fast spread of news are misinformation to a wide audience. This creates an imperative to establish reputation risk mitigation mechanisms to manage crisis, own the message and control the narrative.

Communication for reputation management is both complex and methodical with the right systems and processes in place. Its about using communication to convey the issue, how it is being managed and to reassure stake holders (clients, customers, employees, vendors, regulators) as well as manage public opinion.

The key is to detect and manage an issue early, before it becomes a crisis.

We have experience managing numerous crisis that were safely resolved using our crisis management operational model that works in both reactive and proactive instances:

  • 24/7 monitoring of issues both internally and in the public domain
  • alert mechanism
  • convening the emergency meeting of main stakeholders for immediate and effective fact finding
  • drawing of communication and alignment of stakeholders
  • content format and platforms and diffusion of story
  • media management

Below is illustrative.

  •  A bomb consignment carried aboard the aircraft. The communication stated, as per Chicago Convention, it is not the responsibility of the country in which the cargo transits to x-ray or inspect the cargo. This responsibility belongs to the country from where the consignment originates. The story was thus rightfully transferred to the concerned party.
  •  The captain passed away on board whilst piloting the airplane. The flight was diverted where a new crew boarded. The communication emphasized the carrier priority being the comfort and safety of its passengers and staff.
  •  A passenger died in transit. Upon reporting at the transfer gate, the passenger was unable to produce a passport. The passenger’s passport was declared lost. As per International IATA Resolution 701, the passenger was returned to their point of origin. The passenger boarded the return flight. As per local regulation, the passenger was met by the airline representative and passed on to the immigration officer upon arrival to the airport. Once the facts of the death were established and communicated with the responsibility being third parties established, the focus was maintaining passengers trust and reinforcing the airline’s strict adherence to best practice and safety of crew and passengers.

Implementation of market entry strategies

We were retained by a German medical products provider to advise on deployment of the government approved National Emergency Medical Services (NEMS) project in South Lebanon. The aim of the programme is to reduce the number of avoidable deaths due to emergencies. This involved designing a plan for concensus building amongst fragmented stakeholders and implementing it in country part of a delegation led by relief doctor Professor Bernd Domres, holder of the German Order of Merit for special achievements for the common good.

The steps taken were:

  • Meeting with the Minister of Public Health and his Deputy to discuss the legal basis for the programme, a decree for the pilot phase, a rescue law, training of army personnel regarding mass casualty and major events.
  • Visits to the facilities of the Lebanese Red Cross, the Islamic Health Society and Al Rissala Association for Health Care.
  • Meetings with their Presidents and Deputies to present the issue of disaster management and understand each organisation’s position; obtaining willingness to cooperate in the project by all parties.
  • Setting in motion cooperation steps agreed.
  • Drafting of a declaration of the meetings.
  • Organising a closed round table for all above parties plus the Internal Security Forces to discuss the declaration sentence by sentence, amend and initialise.
  • Produce and communicate a road map to each provider when and where to start, what to contribute and what is the benefit for the provider.
  • Communicate what support will be provided by the government.
  • Awareness campaign of the programme aimed at the public, the hospitals and other stakeholders like the police, the army, the fire brigade and civil defence.